First Catechism Written in Papiamentu Language

Documentary heritage submitted by the Netherlands Antilles and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2009.

© National Archives, Netherlands Antilles
First Catechism Written in Papiamentu Language

Papiamentu is widely spoken by almost a quarter million people in the Dutch Caribbean islands today, across social class, race and ethnicity. The translations of the Roman Catholic catechism into Papiamentu in 1826 and 1837 had great impact on the history of the ABC-islands as it represents the genesis of writing in Papiamentu. The Catechism is the oldest surviving document where Papiamentu appears in a full book-form printed publication and marks a turning point in the process of recognition of Papiamentu which has evolved from an informally popular spoken tongue to the official language of the people of the ABC-islands

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